Episode 96: Family Shatters
This episode has it all. Heart-wrenching and humorous with a bit of monster battle action sprinkled in. This is a solid denouement story arc episode for Caduceus and his family quest. Clocking in at a longer than average 5 hours, we have a lot of episode to dive into.
Starting the episode off with a bang was Mercer’s petrifying Gorgon face off. This bull could do some serious damage as Fjord and Nott quickly found out. Mercer also had a rough realization with this fight too… The Nein are a lot stronger and smarter than they look. There was a brief moment where the Nein seemed in trouble. Beau was losing a battle against petrification, Fjord was busy making death saving throws while Nott thought it was a great time to Fluffernutter it up again. Caduceus knows the pain of that mistake all too well.
Luckily Fjord was able to get back on his feet, Caleb was able to make a gorgon shish-kabob, and Nott was able to Willowshade oil massage Beau back to her human form. Obviously Matt always wants his players to succeed and never feel overwhelmed by any particular encounter, but you could really tell he was hoping his gorgon could do a little more damage than it did. I was also kind of in the same boat. I love watching the Nein absolutely own the battlefield, but I also want to be a little scared that they may be out of their depths. I have been dying for a wild boss battle, and sadly the wait must go on!
Once the dust had settled after the fight, we could get to that emotional family reunion we have been waiting for. Caduceus found four of his family members outside in the Menagerie of animals and humanoid statues. He and Jester make quick work restoring Cornelius (Caddy’s Daddy), Calliope (Sister 1), and Constance (Mommy firbolg). They realize though that Caduceus’ aunt Corrin was shattered during the fight. After a bit of panicked and emotional puzzling Corrin is mostly pieced together again.
The next morning The Nein continue their restoration of the Stone family. With the three pivotal members of the Stone’s restored, everyone is confident that the Sanctuary can be restored in a short while. Jester also has a plan to restore Corrin. After some skillful Stone Shaping and a lucky greater restoration Caduceus’ aunt is back in one piece. The Clay’s also find the two other missing siblings, Colton and Clarebelle, inside the sanctuary. The entire Clay family is back together! How wonderfully mushy. Caduceus does struggle with his newfound wanderlust and sense of debt owed to the Nein that must be repaid. He knows it’s not quite his time to return home yet. So just like that the Clay’s are packed up and shipped off back to their home.
As quick as their introduction was, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of the Clay’s very soon. Like Caduceus said, his home is not saved yet, there is more story to tell. Hopefully the newly germinated fancy crystals he and Calliope cultivated are the final piece of the mystery behind his home’s curse.
I can’t finish talking about this episode without mentioning the Chaos Crew and all the mischief that went on at the Menagerie. Jester, Nott, Beau, and Yasha decide they can’t pass up the opportunity to explore a city trapped in time and see what mayhem they can pursue. My personal favorite was Nott braving the insanely dangerous nightlife to forage enough pine cones to place one in the hands of every single stone statue. We also get to see the prankster king side of Caduceus! His scene with Calliope and the bone flute was adorable. The Nein also tumble their way back to Uthodurn and cause their usual unannounced yeet circle chaos. Classic Nein. Mica Burton’s character Reani also makes a brief NPC appearance as the Clay’s guide back to the Savalier Wood. I also can’t fail to mention Jester’s cupcake power play 2.0 when she sends a summoned fey creature to GrubHub Isharnai the Hag a dozen cupcakes. Can’t wait to see where that thread leads!
Don’t Miss It
Critical Role’s live show is already here! Next week’s Critical Role Recap will deep dive into all that live show action! Tune into Critical Role’s Twitch channel Thursday 6pm central to catch it live.
Critical Role also released a behind the scenes video that gives us a little glimpse into what is going into the making of The Legend of Vox Machina. It was amazing to see all the wonderfully talented people working on the show. I am so hopeful that Critical Role can bring everything we love about the long form sessions to a much wider audience. What a time to be a Critter!